Monthly Archives: March 2011

Easily Defeating The New York Times’ Paywall

When I learned of some of the details of the upcoming The New York Times‘ paywall, I thought of a way around it.

I did not envision that the paywall implementation would be so unprofessionally done that it would be as easy to circumvent as described in the article That was quick: Four lines of code is all it takes for The New York Times’ paywall to come tumbling down.

The method I imagined is spelled out in one of the comments (not a comment authored by me) about the above story posted on the Nieman Journalism Lab site where this story is posted.

In my previous post Monetizing Internet Content, I have explained why the effort of The New York Times is doomed to failure. My post explains how the modern technology changes the calculation on what a person is willing to pay for a subscription.  It then suggests a method of micro-payments that is the solution that will work in this new environment.

I have offered my suggested solution  to Google and to The Boston Globe. As far as I know, nobody has paid the slightest attention to my obvious answer to how to monetize internet content.  If you are attending MIT, Harvard, Stanford, or Berkeley and want to become the next drop-out billionaire, read up on my suggestion, have your classmates implement it, then drop out of school,  and run with it.

Firefox 4.0 User Interface

I have found that some complaints about the new Firefox 4.0 User Interface are easily fixable by the user.  After making my own set of complaints known and seeing hundreds of others make the similar complaints, I saw a note that one person found out how to fix them.  Of course there was no hint as to how.  Well here is the missing info.

The first complaint is that the back and forth button are far separated from the refresh button in the URL window and the home button far to the right.  I had tried grabbing the button and pulling, to no avail.

You have to  right click on the menu bar, and then select customize.  That’s not hard to figure out, but then what?  I found that you have to drag the home page button off the menu bar into the customize window.  The you can drag the home button from the customize window to where you want it in the menu bar.

I also did not like the placement of the tabs.  Unselecting the “tabs on top” option puts the tabs back where they should be.  Previously I erroneously thought that unselecting this option would doing something weird that I would not want.

What Would Finally Convince You That Bush (Obama) is A War Criminal?

The above interview is part of the article CIA Psychologist’s Notes Reveal True Purpose Behind Bush’s Torture Program

Here is the email that I received to introduce this article:

It’s been nine years since the Bush administration implemented its highly-classified torture program, where government interrogators subjected “war on terror” detainees held at CIA prisons and at Guantanamo to brutal techniques in an effort, the public was told, to thwart pending terrorist attacks against the United States and its interests abroad.

While President Obama and Congressional lawmakers “look forward” and have failed to hold accountable those individuals who violated international and domestic human rights laws, new revelations continue to surface showing the extent of the previous administration’s war crimes and the lies upon which they were based.

Indeed, as Jason Leopold and Jeffrey Kaye report in this in-depth investigative report, the handwritten notes, obtained exclusively by Truthout, that were drafted by Dr. John Bruce Jessen, the psychologist who was under contract to the CIA and credited as being one of the architects of the so-called “enhanced interrogation” program, show that torture was used to “exploit” detainees and to get them to “collaborate” with government authorities.

The documents stand as the first pieces of hard evidence to surface that further explain the psychological aspects of Bush’s torture program and the rationale for subjecting detainees to so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Jessen’s notes were provided to Truthout by retired Air Force Capt. Michael Kearns, a decorated veteran who previously held high-ranking positions within the Department of Defense, and is speaking publicly for the first time. Kearns, who worked closely with Jessen in developing a survival training program for military personnel that the torture program was based upon, said Jessen’s “duplicitous act is appalling to me and shall haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Supplementing this groundbreaking report is an exclusive, on-camera interview with Captain Kearns conducted by Jason Leopold. Truthout is also providing our readers with copies of Jessen’s notes that can be downloaded from the article page.

CNN Correspondent Goes Ballistic Over Fox News Libya/Human Shield Report

I do not hold up CNN as a paragon of journalistic virtue, so make of this what you will.
Below is the video and a few paragraphs from the report CNN Correspondent Goes Ballistic Over Fox News Libya/Human Shield Report.

CNN correspondent Nic Robertson has a bone or two to pick with Fox News, which reported today that he and other journalists were used by the Libyan Ministry of Information as human shields, in a successful bid to block a coming, second attack on a compound in Tripoli, supposedly controlled by Qaddafi.

“[T]his allegation is outrageous and it’s absolutely hypocritical. When you come to somewhere like Libya, you expect lies and deceit from a dictatorship here,” Robertson told Wolf Blitzer. “You don’t expect it from the other journalists.”

America ‘Trapped’ by False Narratives

In his article America ‘Trapped’ by False Narratives, Robert Parry reminds us how the media is aiding and abetting the disastrous path we are following in Libya.

Regarding Libya, the major U.S. news media already is repeating many of the journalistic errors made in the early phases of previous conflicts against regimes led by U.S.-designated villains.

For instance, NBC spent much of Monday touting a story from “intelligence sources” about a supposed intercept of a Libyan government communiqué ordering bodies from the morgue to be scattered near sites of U.S. aerial bombings. When reporters found no evidence that this tactic was actually being used, NBC correspondents gave themselves credit for heading it off.

No attention was given to the other possibility – that U.S. propaganda experts or the Libyan opposition had planted the intercept story as a tactic to whip up more animosity toward the Libyan government and to deflect criticism of the U.S. bombings if they did kill large numbers of civilians.

Despite the lack of evidence that Muammar Gaddafi has targeted and slaughtered Libyan civilians or had any intention to do so, we use this as an excuse for yet another military intervention.  If it worked to rescue George W. Bush’s failing administration, perhaps Barack Obama figures it can rescue his.  I am so tired of getting exactly what I voted against.  If I were a believer in evil conspiracies, I might think some power has threatened Obama so frighteningly that he has agreed to go along with policies that he abhors.

Death By 1,000 Cuts

Steven –

Last December, when President Obama made a deal with Republicans to continue the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, I said there was no shared pain in the agreement. I called it the easy way out for everybody. And I emphasized it’s not fiscally responsible in addressing the deficit, the biggest long-term threat to America.

Now, Republicans are pushing for well over $50 billion in cuts to the budget, which would result in the loss of 700,000 jobs nationwide according to leading economists. They won’t even consider cutting the $53 billion the Republicans have used to subsidize
the oil industry or eliminating projects out of the defense budget that even the Pentagon says it doesn’t need and doesn’t want. Instead, they want cuts on everything from local law enforcement to community health centers, from food assistance to low-income women, infants, and children to rural development investment. And of course, they made it clear over and over again, that cutting Social Security benefits must be on the table.

Republicans have gone from being fiscally irresponsible to morally reprehensible in only a few short months. Their goal appears to be the death of civil society by a 1,000 cuts.

It’s time for Democrats to stand up and hold their ground. Republicans in Congress can’t balance the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class — there must be shared sacrifice.

Join me, and our partners at CREDO Action, in calling on Democrats in Congress to accept no new budget cuts while we continue to give tax breaks to people who make a million dollars a year.


This approach to shared sacrifice is backed up by the support of the American people. A recent Washington Post poll shows the vast majority of Americans believe the best way to reduce the deficit is through a combination of spending cuts and increased taxes on America’s most wealthy.

But it’s not about polling. It’s about responsibility. If there is one thing we’ve learned from years and years of Republican misleadership, it’s that you just can’t trust Republicans with your money.

Republicans don’t know how to balance budgets. They never have. I’ve balanced budgets. I did it as Governor for 12 straight years. I’m not the only Democrat with a strong fiscal record. Republicans like to forget that the last President to balance the budget and create a surplus was Democrat Bill Clinton.

Democrats can get the job done as long as we stand up for what we believe and never back down.


Make no mistake about it; the Republicans’ obsession with cutting the federal budget at all costs may be good short-term politics, but it’s bad policy and not the best course for the country.

It’s up to Democrats in Congress to stop them. It’s up to us to make sure Democrats know where we stand.

Thank you, Steven, for everything you do.


Governor Howard Dean, M.D.

Founder, Democracy for America

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How David Broder Lost His Way

The headline on Robert Parry’s article is How the US Press Corps Lost Its Way.

Given the media’s eulogies for David Broder, I think it appropriate to emphasize what Parry had to say about him.  That is why I used the headline, How David Broder Lost His Way.

My editing of the subtitle of the article is “The eulogies for Washington Post columnist David Broder: an unintended commentary on what went wrong with the U.S. news media.”

The beginning of Parry’s indictment of Broder is:

Broder personified the cult of centrism, a faith in “The System” that ignored how hollowed out its institutions had become, at least in terms of any moral or democratic values.

For many years, I have been unable to stand listening to or reading columns of David Broder.  Robert Parry’s article is a good explanation of why I have felt this way.

Bradley Manning’s Military Doctors Accused Over Treatment

According to the article Bradley Manning’s Military Doctors Accused Over Treatment published on the UK Guardian’s web site:

Official records kept at the brig, released recently by Manning’s lawyer, reveal that between last August and January military psychiatrists made no fewer than 16 recommendations to their military commanders that Manning should be taken off the PoI restrictions because he was no threat to himself.

Only once in that five-month period did the psychiatrists conclude that the prisoner should be subjected to the restrictions. Despite the clear medical opinion given, brig commanders have repeatedly ignored the advice and retained the harsh regime. That is, Physicians for Human Rights says, an indication the US government is breaking its own clear rules.

The accusation against the doctors is that they are not doing enough to prevent the mistreatment of Bradley Manning.

President Obama’s defense of this treatment verges on the criminal.  Had I known we would be electing George Bush lite, I never would have voted for Obama.  What a disappointment he has turned out to be.